GENESEE COUNTY, Michigan (WNEM) — A trio of attorneys are now facing multiple felony charges on accusations of running a criminal enterprise to prey on some of the most vulnerable populations.
The Genesee County prosecutor is charging the attorneys out of Oakland County saying they would serve people as debt collectors and use the courts to garnish wages from victims who were unaware of what was happening. The number of victims could be over 1,000.
“This case involves father-son duo Mark and Ryan Fishman of Fishman Group, a professional debt collection law firm out of Oakland County, along with a third party, Alexandra Ichim,” Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton said.
The three lawyers allegedly developed schemes for years, destroying the lives of thousands of victims, totaling well over millions of dollars.
“These lawyers fraudulently took a short cut and they would forge certificates of service showing that the defendants were served when we know they were not,” Leyton said. “Then they would proceed to obtain defaults from the court, default judgments from the court and they would garnish wages, garnish bank accounts, obtain assets that they weren’t legally entitled to obtain.”
Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said the scheme is over. The trio have been charged with a total of 32 felonies including racketeering, forgery and obstruction of justice.
“They have been arrested, all three of them. They were transported to the Genesee County Jail and they’ve been arraigned on the charges,” Swanson said.
The father in this case, Mark Fishman, was arraigned on a $40,000 cash bond. His son Ryan and Alexandra Ichim were both arraigned on $160,000 cash bond.
Swanson is asking anyone else who could have been victims to look through their paperwork and come forward with anything nefarious.
“We will fight for every penny stolen from you,” he said.
Even before the charges were announced, some people spoke out through the firms Google reviews including the following:
“Only giving one star because I can’t give any lower. By far the rudest unprofessional people I’ve ever dealt with. They’ve filed court papers never informing myself or even sending a letter to where I live they sent it to a house I was at 15 years prior.”
Another review left by a person who didn’t want to go on camera, called the firm unprofessional and says it wrongfully involved their company in a debt collection.
“After I posted that I probably have had maybe 10 to 20 people liking what I wrote on that so I kept thinking there must be something more going on with this,” the man told TV5.
Multiple reviews claim the law firm has come after them for money they don’t owe and won’t return their calls.
“Well I’m glad that they’re doing something about this, I mean this is just egregious,” the man said.
TV5 has reached out to the Fishman Group and hasn’t heard back.
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